“Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
Very often, we tend to think of the Saints as extraordinary human beings or larger than life figures. We see them as the people who did the impossible or attained the unattainable. But truly speaking, all the saints we venerate today were complete human beings; imperfect creatures who refused to allow their weaknesses prevent them from pressing forward in the journey to heaven. The life of St. Thomas who we celebrate today is a typical example of a Saint who was everything like you and I. He had every reason to doubt the resurrection because nothing like that had ever happened before and he saw with his own eyes how Jesus was crucified. However, the moment Jesus proved to Thomas the reality of the resurrection by asking him to touch His hands and His side, Thomas was never the same again. The same Thomas who did not believe at first was the one who eventually said: “My Lord and My God!”
Thomas never doubted Jesus again, instead through his profession of faith, many came to recognize Jesus as God. In fact, history tells us that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost, Thomas went on to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” Thomas was steadfast to the end even to the point of accepting martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel. We are told that Thomas was speared to death at a place called Calamine. His feast day is July 3rd and he is the patron of architects.
In Thomas, we see that God does not need perfect people to work with, rather he perfects those who make themselves available for His service. Not even our doubts and imperfections can prevent God from having His way in our lives. So long as we are willing to change and never return to our old selves as Thomas did upon his encounter with Jesus, we can become great Saints. We need to stop seeing ourselves as worthless when it comes to sainthood. As St. Paul tells us in today’s first reading, we are no longer strangers but fellow citizens with the saints in the Household of God (Ephesians 2:19). Never give up on your aspiration to become a Saint one day because the Saints are human too.